GFM Network News


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Exemptions, extensions to be granted for rail crossing upgrades

New amendments would exclude low-risk field-to-field crossings

Some farmer-owned field-to-field grade crossings over Canadian rail lines are now expected to be exempted altogether from looming federal requirements for safety upgrades. Proposed amendments to the Grade Crossings Regulations, announced June 18 by Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, this week cleared their 30-day public comment period. The amendments are expected to tweak rules which were […] Read more

(Photo courtesy Canada Beef Inc.)

Canada to admit vaccinated U.S. tourists

Border to open Aug. 9 after more than 16 months

Ottawa | Reuters — Canada on Monday said it would allow fully vaccinated U.S. tourists into the country starting from Aug. 9 after the COVID-19 pandemic forced an unprecedented 16-month ban that many businesses complained was crippling them. Inoculated visitors from countries other than the United States will be permitted to enter beginning on Sept. […] Read more


U.S. President Joe Biden tours a manufacturing lab at McHenry County College during a visit to northwest Chicago suburb Crystal Lake on July 7, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Evelyn Hockstein)

Biden seeks to lift limits on U.S. farmer dealings with tractor makers, packers

Executive order to address corporate 'abuses of power'

Washington | Reuters — U.S. President Joe Biden wants to give that country’s farmers more power in negotiating the sale of livestock to big processors and in deciding who repairs their tractors, the White House said on Tuesday. The executive order, expected within days, will also address such competitive issues as delayed airline baggage, cellphone […] Read more

Canada/U.S. border signage in downtown Detroit. (RiverNorthPhotography/Getty Images)

Canada to lift more border restrictions in weeks to come, Trudeau says

Ottawa | Reuters — Canada will further relax border restrictions in the weeks to come as long as the science supports such a move, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday, suggesting Ottawa would move more quickly than initially announced. Trudeau, under pressure to allow non-essential travel from the U.S., was more categorical than he had […] Read more


Seasonal flu shots are recommended to help limit spread of flu viruses between people and livestock. (Inside Creative House/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Another swine flu variant case appears in Manitoba

Variant of H3N2 confirmed in southern Manitoba resident

A single and apparently isolated case of another influenza variant normally seen in hogs has turned up in a Manitoba resident, the province announced Monday. Manitoba Public Health on Monday said the H3N2 influenza variant (H3N2v) seen in this case is related to flu viruses that circulate in pigs, noting that while such viruses don’t […] Read more

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Farm workers qualify for Alberta’s ‘critical worker’ benefit

Employers can apply starting Tuesday

Alberta has expanded the pool of workers eligible for its pandemic-related Critical Worker Benefit to include farm workers starting Tuesday (June 22). The province announced Tuesday that eligibility for the $1,200 payments would expand to more categories of workers who “provided critical services to Albertans, were essential to the supply and movement of goods, and […] Read more


A vineyard at Naramata in B.C.’s Okanagan Valley. (File photo by Dave Bedard)

B.C. again waives ag income threshold for farm properties

Some farms otherwise risked property tax reclassification

British Columbia farmers who’ve taken pandemic-induced losses in farm income will be able to keep their farm properties classified as such for another tax year. The province on Monday announced that for the second year running, it will waive the minimum farm income thresholds normally required for B.C. properties to be classified as farms for […] Read more

(Canada Border Services Agency video screengrab)

Canada taking first step toward lifting border restrictions

U.S. border restrictions still in place until at least June 21

Ottawa | Reuters — Canada on Wednesday took a cautious first step toward easing COVID-19 border restrictions, saying it was prepared to relax quarantine protocols for fully vaccinated citizens returning home starting in early July. Canada’s air and land borders have allowed for only essential travel since March of last year, and Canadians coming home […] Read more


Comment: The power of acknowledgement

Comment: The power of acknowledgement

We may need to drop the 'win the argument' mentality more often

Well, it sure has been a long haul with this pandemic, hasn’t it? I wonder what the world is going to look like in six months. Will we all remember how to socialize in real life once we re-emerge from these cycles of lockdowns and semi-lockdowns? Will we regain ground on the mental health front? […] Read more

(Sollio Co-operative Group video screengrab via YouTube)

Workers call strike at Olymel hog plant in Quebec

Producers urged to prioritize heavier hogs when shipping

Talks toward a new contract for unionized employees at meat packer Olymel’s hog slaughter and processing plant in Quebec’s Beauce region have ended in a strike. The Syndicat des travailleurs d’Olymel Vallee-Jonction-CSN, which represents over 1,000 staff at Vallee-Jonction, about 60 km southeast of Quebec City, called an “indefinite” strike effective Wednesday morning, the union […] Read more